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August 07, 2020 5 min read

6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your New Home

Updated 3/18/2021

If you have been looking for a sofa but can’t seem to find one that fits the exact image that you are looking for, perhaps a custom sofa is the way to go.

While the idea of ordering a custom sofa might seem complicated, the actual process is much simpler than you might think. Custom furniture brands can help you create your dream sofa!

Furniture Fair has over 50 years of experience dealing with bespoke furniture orders. Our storeroom features over 1,200 fabrics and leathers from industry-leading manufacturers to help you custom design your couch.

While we offer specific custom brands, this article is merely a guide to designing a custom sofa. After reading this article, you will be able to order your dream sofa with confidence, knowing what the process will involve.

6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room
6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room

Step 1: Decide on Your Budget

When ordering a custom sofa, you should consider the budget that you want to spend.

Custom sofas range from $599 to upwards of $6,000. You will need to figure out what features and benefits you want on your new purchase and work your budget around that.

Alternatively, if you have a set budget that you want to stick to, use your fixed budget price to decide what type of custom sofa is the best fit for you! There are a surprisingly decent amount of custom sofas available at prices that won’t break your bank.

If your budget is under $1,000, affordable custom options such as the Philip sofa or the Brett sofa will look and feel great without breaking your bank.

Once you cross the $1,000 price point, the quality of the construction and upholstery increases dramatically. You will get a much higher quality custom sofa and more fabric options.

If you are looking to spend $1,000 or more, the Trey sofa will provide you with a great base to customize.

Step 2: Find The Size You Want

Now that you know your budget, it’s time to find the size you need. Custom sofas come in several sizes and depth options. The quantity you need will depend on the size of the space that your new sofa will occupy.

The first and smallest of the size options come in a two-cushion configuration and are perfect for smaller apartments or cozy living rooms. This size will fit a maximum of three people, that is if you don’t mind being close!

The second configuration is the three-cushion layout, a standard sofa size that most people think of when imagining a sofa. This size will comfortably accommodate three people and will fit four people if necessary.

The third configuration is a four cushion option. This size fits four people but will take up a large amount of space. Any seating larger than this is considered a sectional. Anything larger than these three sizes becomes a sectional.

Some custom sofas also allow you to pick your depth for an average or much deeper seating experience. If you are taller, a deeper sofa may be more comfortable for you.

6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room
6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room
6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room

Step 3: Find Your Frame

Now that size and pricing are out of the way, it’s time to look at the frame style you want. Frames are the wood or fiberboard bases to furniture that the cushioning and upholstery cover. Sofa frames are available in a wide variety of custom styles, from simple to elegant.

Perhaps you are interested in a more Mid-century Modern style sofa with clean lines and raised wooden legs. Or maybe you prefer the classic button-back sofa style, complete with nailhead trim. Whatever your style, you will have options available that fit it perfectly.

This part of the process will depend very much on designing the rest of your room. For example, if everything else in your place has that old-fashioned, elegant feeling, throwing a modern frame in could be a bit of a distraction and stand out a bit too much.

You must find the right balance of style for your room and your sofa. Thankfully, most furniture stores have custom design experts on staff, ready to help you find your perfect style choice.

Step 4: Pick Your Fabric or Leather

Now comes the most fun part of the project. The covering is one part of the sofa that will garner the most attention and will fit the rest of your room’s design palette. Your fabric choice is your chance to bring your unique style to the piece and bring that idea in your head to life!

Custom-furniture companies have a wide selection of fabrics and leathers to choose from, and your decisions are limited only by your imagination. Some custom manufacturers offer over 800 fabrics and leathers in a wide range of patterns, materials, and styles.

Perhaps you want a bright patterned fabric to make a room pop, or maybe you want a classy-looking leather to round out that rustic dream living room you are building. Perhaps you want a beautiful trendy blue fabric or a funky pattern that will draw attention to the piece.

Regardless of your style, there will be a fabric for your custom sofa that you will love.

6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room
6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room
6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room

Step 5: Pick Your Trim

Trim is also an essential part of designing your sofa. If the brand you are working with has the option, you will need to decide whether you want standard or nailhead trim or tufted and any other small details that may go unnoticed by someone buying a regular sofa.

Nailhead trim adds style and classic sophistication to a sofa design and functionally reinforces the upholstery on your sofa.

The details can make or break the piece, and you should be able to get the exact information you want when ordering custom. This way, you will know that what you bought was 100% designed by you.

Step 6: Pick Your Legs

The final step in the design process is to pick the legs that you want on your sofa if the brand features that option. This step may not seem significant, but a good leg design can make or break your sofa style.

A thoroughly modern sofa design would look somewhat unsuitable with a pair of victorian clawfoot legs. Find out what options you have available and pick the one that best matches your style.

Sofa legs are usually wood or metal with varying designs that will fit the style you need.

6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room
6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room
6 Steps to Designing a Custom Sofa for Your Living Room

Finish Your Custom Sofa!

Once you’ve completed the design process, take the time to review what you have just created. Make sure the sofa fits your vision completely! A custom sofa is a big order, and you wouldn’t want to decide after your purchase that you’ve selected the wrong style or color.

You’ve designed a sofa that is 100% your own and will give you years of satisfaction. You can rest easy knowing that you’ve looked over the entire process, from selecting the frame right down to the fabric itself. You will now have a piece of furniture that is unique to your tastes.

Thanks to companies like Smith Brothers of Berne, England, and Southern Motion finding a custom sofa covering that fits your vision is easier than ever.

If you're in the Cincinnati, Dayton, or Louisville area, drop by today and meet with a designer in person to select your custom furniture.

Our expert designers will be able to show you the best options for what you have in mind. Drop by and start creating your dream sofa today!



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